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African Initiatives


Peter Van Arsdale
Peter Van Arsdale, PhD
African Initiatives Director

Peter Van Arsdale oversees African Initiatives and co-founded the Josef Korbel School's Humanitarian Assistance program. In these capacities, as well as in the international community, he specializes in humanitarian aid, complex emergencies, human rights, community development, and cross-cultural relations, often with regard to refugee and immigrant populations. He has previously focused on civilian-military collaboration in humanitarian assistance. 

Peter Van Arsdale's book, Humanitarians in Hostile Territory: Expeditionary Diplomacy and Aid Outside the Green Zone (2010, with Derrin Smith), approaches this subject analytically. His imprint is found in a number of African Initiatives' partner organizations, most of which are NGOs. He is involved currently with projects in South Sudan, Tanzania, and Ethiopia. He previously served as a faculty advisor for Students for Africa. Additionally, he is a co-founder of The Denver Hospice and previous Editor-in-Chief of T he Applied Anthropologist journal.


Devin Clark
African Initiatives Associate

Devin is a Master's candidate in International Development with a Certificate in Humanitarian Assistance. He is a returned Peace Corps Rwanda Volunteer where he focused on education and community development. Prior to Peace Corps, he was an AmeriCorps member with City Year in Philadelphia working in 7th and 8th-grade classrooms. Devin hopes to continue in the education field by contributing to humanitarian and early-recovery educaiton programming for refugee and internally displaced populations.





Past Contributors

Lottie Dungan

 Lottie Dungan
 African Initiatives Associate

Lottie Dungan is a Korbel graduate who received a Master's of International Human Rights with a regional emphasis in eastern and central Africa in 2019. Lottie has concentrations in International Development and Nonprofit Management, plus French language proficiency. Other interests include water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), transitional justice and peacekeeping, as well as interests in migration and asylum issues. Lottie served both as an African Initiatives Associate and as a Co-President for the Korbel Asylum Project.

Melody Delaney
Melody Delaney
Event Coordinator, African Initiatives

Melody Delaney is a Korbel graduate with a Master's of International Development. As a complement to her degree, she now works for Project Educaiton South Sudan, which emphasizes girls' educaiton in the Bor region. Melody earned her undergraduate degree from the Florida State University College of Music and hopes to combine these two radically different degrees to study cultural heritage music and its capacity to aid conflict resolution and emotional healing in the wake of traumatic events.

Students for Africa (Check out their Facebook page!) Facebook

Cait O'Brien Cait O'Brien
Students for Africa Executive Team Member

Cait is a Master's candidate in International Development and the Co-President of Students for Africa. She is a recently returned Peace Corps Zambia Volunteer and Teach for America Alumni. While in Africa she focused on rural education development and sexual reproductive health for youth and HIV/AIDS vulnerable populations. Her projects included electrifying the village's school, hosting multiple HIV testing and education events in the village, as well as leading female youth empowerment camps and clubs. Cait is a competitive marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast.


Professors Focused on Africa


Dr. Hendrix

Cullen Hendrix, PhD
Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security & Diplomacy

Dr. Cullen Hendrix (@cullenhendrix) is Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy and Professor at the Josef Korbel School. He is also a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, and Senior Research Advisor at the Center for Climate and Security. With Idean Salehyan, he created and maintains the Social Conflict Analysis Database. He is also a regular contributor at Political Violence @ a Glance and a member of the Political Instability Task Force and Africa Board of Experts. He holds research appointments at the University of Texas at Austin and the Colorado School of Mines, and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Peace Research.

Dr. Hendrix has broad interests in contentious politics, the political economy of development, and environmental politics. At the Korbel School, he leads the Environment, Food and Conflict (ENFOCO) Lab. His articles have been published in journals ranging from Biological Reviews and Global Environmental Change to the Journal of Conflict Resolution.


Dr. Moyer 
Jonathan Moyer, PhD
Director, Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures

Jonathan Moyer is Assistant Professor and Director of the Pardee Center, as well as Director of the Frederick S. Pardee Center for International Futures, at the University of Denver. He earned his PhD at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at this university. His work regularly takes him to Africa, where the charting of futures using the center's specialized data-driven model allows engagement with numerous national leaders. Forecasting and analytic tool development are among his specialties. Prof. Moyer is the author or co-author of a number of publications, exemplified most recently (2019) by the article, "Estimation and Mapping of Sub-National GDP in Uganda Using NPP – VIIRS Imagery."


Dr. Berry

Marie Berry, PhD
Director of Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative

Dr. Marie Berry is an Assistant Professor at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, where she is an affiliate of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy. She is also the Director of the Inclusive Global Leadership Initiative (IGLI), an effort to catalyze research, education, and programming aimed at elevating and amplifying the work that women activists are doing at the grassroots to advance peace, justice, and human rights across the world. As a sociologist, her research focuses on violence, gender, and politics. Her first book, War, Women, and Power: From Violence to Mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina (Cambridge University Press 2018), examines the impact of war and genocide on women's political mobilization in Rwanda and Bosnia. Her second book project explores women's participation in movements for social change across the world. Together with Dr. Milli Lake (LSE), she runs the Women's Rights After War Project. Dr. Berry's award-winning work has been published in Gender & Society, Democratization, Signs, and Foreign Policy.


Dr. Muyeba

Singumbe Muyeba, PhD
Assistant Professor 

Dr. Muyeba is an Assistant Professor of African Studies at the University of Denver's Josef Korbel School of International Studies. His research interests are in urbanization, property rights to land and housing as interventions to the crisis of slums in Africa, foreign aid, institutions as forms of capital, as well as innovative interventions for ending poverty in general. Special foci are urban property rights for the poor in slums in Africa and on institutional capital and household wealth among the urban poor. He previously worked for the United Nations Development Program in Zambia and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Among other publications is a book on globalization and Africa in the twenty-first century. Social innovation financing pay for performance interventions on homelessness in Massachusetts also has been featured. Dr. Muyeba holds PhD in Sociology and MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, and a BA from the University of Zambia. In the United States, he was a Fox International Fellow at Yale University.

Robert Fogler, JD
Adjunct Faculty

Robert Fogler teaches graduate-level courses on "Political Risk Analysis" and "Capital Markets in Africa." His experience with business and capital markets in Africa includes founding, fundraising and investing a venture capital fund in East Africa; serving as CEO for a company that did business in 30 African countries; and advising governments, corporations and organizations on business and financial issues in Africa in industry sectors including agriculture, technology, infrastructure, banking, and mortgage markets. Prof. Fogler has been a regular invited speaker on African business and investment. He holds degrees in law, engineering, and philosophy, all from the University of Michigan.


Robert Uttaro, PhD
Teaching Associate Professor

Robert Uttaro (called Babu by his students) began his enchantment with Africa in 1995. In 1996 he initiated PhD research in Malawi looking at democratic consolidation in the context of structural adjustment policies and neo-liberal ideology. His interests include climate change influences on smallholder agriculturalists in East Africa, gender and agriculture, information flows and agricultural extension capacity, governance and self-organization, and re-localization for sustainable resource management. Once a year he teaches 'Politics in Africa" for undergraduates. He runs an inter-term course in Kenya and a "field quarter" in East Africa, also for undergraduates, focusing on how governance, climate change, tourism, and economic development affect communities.


Dr. Sisk
Timothy Sisk, PhD

Timothy D. Sisk is Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver and a steering faculty member of the Sié Chéou Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the school. His research, teaching and policy-oriented work focus on armed conflict and political violence together with understanding and evaluation of processes of conflict prevention, management, and peacebuilding in fragile and post-war contexts. Professor Sisk has conducted extensive research on the role of international and regional organizations, particularly the United Nations, in peace operations, peacemaking, and peacebuilding. At the University of Denver, he also chairs the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects in Research.

Sisk's latest book is co-edited with Fletcher Cox, Peacemaking in Deeply Divided Societies: Toward Social Cohesion? (Palgrave, 2017). He is also the author of Statebuilding: Consolidating Peace after Civil War (Polity, 2013). Other recent books for which He is co-editor of several books including Democratization in the 21st Century: Reviving Transitology, The Routledge Handbook of International Statebuilding.